This small town is strategically located near the Balmaceda Airport, which is the main port of entry to the Aysén region and the place where most travelers begin their exploration of all the area has to offer. Founded in 1917 to house families that, until then, had lived in southeastern Argentina, Balmaceda was the first town in the territory and was officially incorporated in 1928.

The town is located on the pampas and surrounded by typical Patagonian steppe. It is very close to the customs control area at the border and the Huemules International Pass.

Lodging, Food, and Activities

There aren’t many lodging options in Balmaceda, but there are some restaurants featuring home cooking–style meals, ideal for lunchtime. Find more information at http://www.coyhaique.cl/portalturismo/.

Region

Coyhaique

Province

Coyhaique

Population

500

Climate and Rainfall

Cold steppe, 20 inches annually

Nearest National Park(s)

Parque Nacional Cerro Castillo

Don’t Miss

  • Explore this quiet town on foot, visiting the town square and the rodeo grounds.
  • Visit nearby lakes, including Elizalde, Frío, Pólux, Cástor, Atravesado, and La Paloma.
  • Hike in Coyhaique National Reserve.
  • Visit the Dos Lagunas National Monuments.
  • Explore the Río Simpson National Reserve.
  • Visit the El Fraile Ski Center.

How to get

Balmaceda is located 34 miles southeast of Coyhaique and just a few miles from Huemules International Pass. It’s also 93 miles from the Argentinian city Río Mayo.

Transfers are available daily at both the Balmaceda and Coyhaique airports. They cost approximately $5,000 CLP.

The main port in the region is Puerto Chacabuco, which connects Quellón and Puerto Montt and is located 83 miles from Balmaceda.

Sky and Latam airlines offer daily flights to Balmaceda. From Santiago, the non-stop flight takes 2 hours and 15 minutes, and from Puerto Montt, the flight takes around 50 minutes. Dap Airlines also offers twice-weekly flights connecting Balmaceda and Punta Arenas.

Tips

Basic Services

  • “Caja Vecina” (Rural Bank Services)
  • Basic Medical Services
  • Cell Service
  • Police Station
  • Regional Airport

Visitor’s Center

· Balmaceda does not have a visitor’s center at this time, but there is a regional tourism office run by Sernatur (the National Tourism Service) in Coyhaique,

at Bulnes 35

.
For more information, email infoaysen@sernatur.cl or call

+56 67 2 240298

.

Important Dates

The town celebrates its anniversary in January each year, with events on January 1 that include equestrian demonstrations, barbecues, live music, and more.

During the second week of February, the town hosts a showcase of its equestrian traditions.

In September, the town commemorates the anniversary of its Pioneer Museum.

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